Bernard Jackman has argued that Jack Carty has been very harshly punished for his role in Ireland’s loss to Japan at the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
Carty was selected to start in Ireland’s second Rugby World Cup game against Japan two years ago, and while the Connacht fly-half started the game very well, his performance diminished as the match wore on and the Japanese took control.
The Athlone native came off the bench against Russia the following week, but he hasn’t played for his country since then, and has been left out of Ireland’s November squad despite recent impressive performances for Connacht.
Former Ireland and Connacht hooker Bernard Jackman was speaking on RTE’s rugby podcast and argued that Carty is currently his country’s best back up option to incumbent fly-half Johnny Sexton.
Bernard Jackman on Jack Carty.
“I think Jack Carty has been very harshly punished or treated for the Japan defeat in the World Cup. It’s not as if there’s any player at international level even outside Ireland who hasn’t had a bad day,” Jackman said.
“It’s how they develop from that and I think Carty looks to be more mature, a stronger leader, exactly what Ireland need.
“Let’s be honest, because Ireland don’t have a really rigid attacking philosophy or clarity around how we play, I think the 10 for Ireland, their necessity to be a leader and a game manager is more important than it is for a lot of other teams because it seems to be quite loose.
“Obviously this is the way they want to go post-Joe [Schmidt], but it seems to be quite loose in terms of how we want to play, so we’re really relying on that 10 to boss things, and to put people in position.”
Johnny Sexton says the Ireland squad have started planning for the 2023 World Cup.
It’s a big difference to Joe Schmidt’s time in charge…
— RTÉ Rugby (@RTErugby) October 27, 2021
Ireland’s options at fly-half.
While Carty has missed out on representing his country this November, two fly-halves with plenty of potential – Joey Carbery and Harry Byrne – have been selected by Ireland head coach Andy Farrell, alongside Johnny Sexton.
Although Sexton will likely start in at least two of Ireland’s three test matches this month, Carbery and Byrne should have the opportunity to test themselves against high-quality opposition nonetheless.
Sexton will almost certainly start against New Zealand if fit, but Carbery will likely be handed the 10 jersey against one of Japan and Argentina, while Byrne will be expected to make an appearance off the bench at some stage.
Carty has arguably played better than both Carbery and Byrne in recent weeks, but he is the eldest of the three at 29, and is seemingly not being considered as a long-term replacement for Sexton.